This past Easter morning, as Christians everywhere awoke to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, we were greeted with news that over 200 individuals had been killed while attending church in Sri Lanka.
We are taught to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. Sometimes it feels impossible to do both at the same time, impossible to mourn and rejoice, but I think it’s a requirement to survive in this world. Once you realize you are never not going to grieve the death of your husband, you realize that if you are going to have joy in your life again you will have to learn to hold both simultaneously.
If I can grieve personal loss while finding joy, we can also rejoice while grieving the loss of life we see on the news. There is a tremendous differences between not caring about those hurting in the world around us, and rejoicing in the face of pain and evil. One is a sign of psychopathy, the other requires heroic strength.
We don’t have to ignore evil and sorrow in order to rejoice. We can find a joy that’s strong enough to stand in the midst of grief, a joy that is possible only with hope for a future where all is made right but one that does not need to wait for that day.